Lucent's enterprise spin-off tackles e-business

Lucent Technologies offered the first glimpse into its new enterprise-focused spin-off, detailing a communications model for e-businesses as well as unveiling partnerships with companies including Anderson Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers and eLoyalty.

Lucent said the spin-off will be completed by the end of September, and it plans to announce a name for the new company within next several months.

"We expect our spin-off from Lucent to make us faster and more sharply focused," said Don Peterson, president and chief executive officer of Lucent's new Enterprise Networks Group.

As a result of breaking off from Lucent, Peterson said he expects the Enterprise Networks Group to benefit from increased spending on research and development for enterprise-specific technologies. Officials added that the clearer focus of the spin-off will better suit its efforts to establish strategic technology relationships with partners.

As part of its enterprise strategy, Lucent officials identified three waves of e-business, the first focused on content, the second revolving around transactions, and the third about strengthening relationships.

"E-business is entering a third wave that (is) not just about delivering content via Web sites or about (facilitating) transactions. Now (e-business) involves communications tools to strengthen relationships in which the needs of the customers and suppliers set the rules," said Karyn Mashima, vice president of strategy and chief technology officer of the Enterprise Networks Group. "Businesses need to integrate front and back office functions and keep content intact as it moves between networks."

The centerpiece of Lucent's strategy, the eCommunication Model, is a three-phased approach to integrating communications functionality into rapidly changing e-business models with the goal of speeding and facilitating e-business development. Lucent said the model specifically will help simplify the process of building and integrating network elements and applications that businesses use to build and develop relationships with customers, suppliers, and partners.

The first phase of eCommunication involves aligning products with the specific needs of customers to develop e-business solution sets, Lucent said. Within six months, Lucent plans to deliver solutions currently under development, such as communication-enabled portals and programmable objects called Commlets. Commlets are communication applets designed to help software developers add communication functions simply to the application and services layer of the network, according to the company. Lucent said it plans to work with other technology companies to develop these applets to comply with industry standards.

Phase three, which Lucent expects to roll out before the end of the year, will deliver next generation hardware and software, more flexible applications, and enterprise portals with the aim of accelerating value and speed to market, according to the company.

Lucent also said it plans within the year to establish a consortium of companies to develop the software components to fit its eCommunication business model.

Offering details of its three partnership initiatives, Lucent said it will work with Andersen Consulting to develop front-office and CRM (customer relationship management) solutions in order to create a differentiated customer experience. In addition, Lucent plans to collaborate with PricewaterhouseCoopers to deliver solutions by the fourth quarter aimed at easing back-office processes for business to business transactions. With eLoyalty, Lucent will work on developing hosted applications for e-businesses.

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